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Artist of the Month
June 2015

Artist of the Month

Toots Zynsky

Toots Zynsky is internationally recognized for her extraordinary and always unique sculptural "filet-de-verre" works in glass. Zynsky's sculptural vessel forms, exemplifying her iconic explorations of color, have earned her a special place in the history of glass. Her latest achievement, larger scale, stretched, twisted, intoxicating, vibrant monochromatic forms capture light, movement and the imagination. Toots is represented by Sandra Ainsley Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Click on each photo to the right for a full picture. 

Toots Zynsky

Artist of the Month

About Toots Zynsky

Among her many  achievements and awards, this year has added yet another to her list. Toots Zynsky is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Smithsonian Visionary Award, presented to her in Washington D.C. in April by Acting Secretary of the Smithosonian Instituion Albert G. Horvarth, along with Director of Advancement and Philanthoropic Giving Virginia B. Clark and President of the Smithsonian’s Women’s Committee Emily Z. Huebner.

In making the announcement, co-chair of the Event Susan Labovich said, “Toots Zynsky’s work epitomizes  greatness in her field. Her glass sculptural pieces, which are found in major museums around the world, demonstrate creativity, vision and innovation which are the founding criteria for the Visionary Award. Her work is the finest of American studio glass. We are honored that Ms. Zynsky has agreed to accept this award." Toots was also characterized as "one of the few women of her generation to break the glass ceiling."

Zynsky’s work in the field began when she learned to blow glass at Rhode Island School of Design in 1970. By 1971 she was experimenting with large-scale slumped plate glass sculptures. Her work soon evolved, incorporating  glass into video, sound and time-lapse performance works.

Following a nearly 6 year hiatus from working with glass, during which she explored the use of other materials to create ephermal spacial sculptural installations, Zysnky returned to the hot galss studio. At the New York Experimental Glass Workshop in the early 1980s, along with relocating and rebuilding that studio, and teaching the first classes in conjunction with Parsons School of Design and The New School, she developed (and named) her “filet-de-verre" technique.  From 1983-99 she lived and worked in Amsterdam and Paris, further developing her very personal forms and use of color. 

“There are very few accidents in my work,” Zynsky explains. "I had to solve the technical (challenges) in order to make what I wanted to make. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to go through the great, albeit fledgling, glass program at RISD in the early '70s. We had to learn everything." Today Toots uses her knowledge and her skill and allows her fingerips and her unconscious mind to form work of seemingly effortless beauty.*  

*American Art Collector, “Toots Zynsky, Fused and Formed” pp146-7. March 2015

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Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Sandra Ainsley Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for providing the Artist of the Month.

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Our Mission

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.

The Alliance informs collectors, critics and curators by encouraging and supporting museum exhibitions, university glass departments and specialized teaching programs, regional collector groups, visits to private collections, and public seminars.